Place: Port Sulphur, LA
Wind: started still, then up to 10 mph – Northeast/East
Tide: supposed to fall a foot in afternoon, but not much change
Water Level: high, above grass line
Water Temperature: 72 F
Water Clarity: fair, about 2 feet, found some really clear water back in marsh
Temperature: ~ 60 – 80 F for high
Moon: Waning, half-full
Solunar period: fair major period @ 8-10 a.m. , minor at 2 p.m.
Time on the water: 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Water covered: ~ 5 miles
Other fishers: solo trip
I went out with my two #8 weight rods, one rigged with a white bucktail clouser minnow for speckled trout and the other rigged with an LSU colored spoon fly for redfish. It turned out that the clouser worked great on both. I went to a deep hole to check for trout. Water was moving well and there were fish on the Lowrance, but the best I could do here was a cigar speck and a 7 inch gafftop.
I was flipping my spoon fly into some likely spots as I crossed a pond and I got a bite that I thought was a trout, but it turned out to be a (personal best!) needlefish. After a few minutes it decided to quit flipping around and I tossed it back.
I moved to another bayou and found some cleaner water up there. I fished upwind and got a 14” redfish to hit the spoon fly. I pedaled up until I could not go any further and then turned around to drift down with the wind. I stood up and tried to cast but the fish came up too quickly and they saw me about the instant I could see them. I spooked several sheepshead and a few smaller sized slot redfish on the way down.
The strangest thing that I saw today was the “alien”. I had just released a small redfish and spotted something odd about 50 yards from me moving slowly in the water. What the heck was it? At first glance it appeared to be a large octopus. I thought I could see a large head and tentacles, with one tentacle sticking up and waiving at me. It was crossing the bayou and after a few seconds my brain put the pieces together – it was a huge otter that was swimming on its back and eating a big crab. Parts of it would come up and appear and disappear as it swam and ate. The “tentacle” turned out to be its tail. The critter was as long as a man. Wish I had a camera with a zoom so I could have taken its picture.
Pedaled over to another favorite bayou and found the water a little cleaner there as well. I caught a couple more little redfish and then turned up a smaller bayou that had water pushing out and it was really clean after going about 50 feet. Unfortunately I was heading upwind and ended up spooking sheepshead, gar, and redfish. Again I turned back downwind. The wind was picking up and when I stood up to see fish I acted like a sail. The bayou narrowed and my kayak was sideways in the bayou, essentially spanning it. I was trying to get the kayak’s nose turned downwind with the paddle when I see a squad of redfish coming right at me. They pass under the kayak and I have my fly hanging off the other side of the kayak and all I can do is give the rod a wiggle to move the clouser – but it was enough and one of the passers grabbed it and took off. It went about 18” and went into the fish bag. I caught another throw back red as I got back to the mouth of the bayou.
I turned up another bayou – water was not too clean here – and explored some of the little ponds it connected. I was heading upwind again and spooking lots of fish that left big mud clouds as they fled. I got a couple more small redfish and went as far as I could go and then turned to drift downwind. I caught another small redfish and worked my way back down. I passed through a small pond and cast to a cut, and the wind pushed me to the bank. I casted my clouser back across where I had just drifted – basically to get the fly line out of the way – and grabbed the paddle with one hand to push off the bank only to feel the rod being yanked by a redfish. This accident turned out to be the best fish of the day at 23”.
I caught a couple more rat reds as I went along and came upon a nice flat shallow area that always looks fishy to me. I’ve caught a few reds here before, but this time a trout slapped the clouser I casted. It was only on for a second or two and then another hit as I stripped in the clouser. It came off as well. I cast again and had the same result – good hits but could not get the fish to the kayak. I drifted past the spot, fished a little and caught a rat red, and then pedaled back for another pass. Same results – fish on, and fish off. I made another circle and anchored. I finally caught a couple that I managed to keep on the hook. Not big, but keeper size so after many more misses I got a few more landed. A few were throw backs, but most fish were 13-14 inches. After I managed to flail the water and lose some more fish, the wind seemed to shift and weakened and the bite died down. I moved around to look for the school of specks but only caught another small redfish. The sun was moving down and it was time to head in. I trolled the clouser as I pedaled in but did not get any other fish.
I ended the day with two smaller slot sized fish, a dozen or so rat reds, several specks (and a bunch of misses), a small gafftop catfish, and a long needlefish. I did not see any bigger sized slot reds or bulls. Today’s reds were in the 18-22” range. I saw so many sheepshead and some black drum as well today, but I could not get them to take a fly. I need to look into tying some small (dime sized) crab patterns for them. I’ve heard they like little crabs.